You’ve had your summer reading list mapped out since the sun broke through this spring. And now that you’ve got a few moments, you’re thinking about poolside reads for your sidekick too. Browse our list of hot-off-the-presses chapter books that’ll get your kids excited to read from now until the first day of school … and may even give you a few sunshiny moments of peace and quiet too!

Endling: The Last

The One and Only Ivan author, Katherine Applegate, scores big this summer with the May 2018 release of Endling: The Last, the first book in her new series. It’s the inspiring story of a Dairne (think: dog with human characteristics), Byx, who believes she’s the last of her species. She sets out on a journey to find in search of other Dairnes and befriends more anthropomorphic characters and humans alike on her quest. With its rich characters, daring adventures and thoughtful presentation of real-life issues like friendship, conservation and belonging found within, animal lovers will have a hard time putting this book down.

Ages: 8-12 

Available at amazon.com, $13.65.

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Alien: Mysterious Monsters Book Two

The Mattigan kids are at it again in this sequel to author David Michael Slater’s first book, Bigfoot. But instead of hunting a mythical forest-dweller, this time the trio is on the lookout for escaped alien, J-Pod, who makes his way from Area 51 to an extraterrestrial convention in Las Vegas, where the Mattigan family happens to be vacationing. This smart, funny, fast-paced illustrated chapter book will keep your early grade school kids giggling this summer.

Ages: 6-10

Available at amazon.com, $5.77.

The Parker Inheritance

When Candace finds a letter addressed to her grandmother in the attic, she can’t resist reading it. And when it promises a treasure to the reader able to solve a mystery, she can’t wait to get to it. With the help of her neighbor Brandon, she sets out to uncover a mystery that leads her deep in the history of her grandmother’s hometown. Kids will love puzzling their way through this newly released novel by Varian Johnson.

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $11.72.

Absolutely Alfie: Worst Best Sleepover

Alfie returns for the third installment in this popular spin-off series by Sally Warner (psst … fans might know her brother, EllRay Jakes, from his popular series). This time, Alfie’s working hard to navigate the ins-and-outs of the second-grade sleepover, hosted by her former best friend Lulu. With only six girls on the invite list, Alfie’s hoping she’s one. But wouldn’t it be better if everyone could come? With humor and insight, Warner walks kids through awkward social situations they can all relate to in this book.

Ages: 6-8

Available at amazon.com, $5.99.

The Battle of Junk Mountain

In this April 2018 release by Lauren Abbey Greenberg, 12-year-old Shayne can’t wait to return to her favorite summer beach spot—her grandmother house on the coast of Maine. But when she arrives, Shayne realizes that a lot has changed in a year, and her best-laid plans are thwarted by her grandmother’s growing collection of goodies that she has to help her sort and sell, and a waning friendship with her summer bestie Poppy whose busy, boy-focused summer isn’t what Shayne had in mind. Thank goodness she’s got neighbor Linc to hang with!

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $13.59

The Serpent’s Secret: Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond

Like so many magical tales, this one begins on Kiranmala’s birthday. And like so many mythical tales, this one has parents involved in a disappearing act, ferocious monsters ready for a chase scene, and two worthy princes who take Kiran on an otherworldly adventure. Readers who dig on the likes of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the other fantasy book bros will love this new fantasy series by Sayantani DasGupta.

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $7.40.

Pug Pals: Two’s a Crowd

This is a tale of two pugs … and a bunny toy that gets lost outside. It’ll take lots of courage and chutzpah for a tiny pug named Rosy to rescue Mr. Bunny and return him to her big sis. With plenty of playful illustrations, this early reader chapter book that’s recommended for kids ages 7-10 is a crowd pleaser. Plus, it’s the first in a series, which means more to come!

Ages: 7-10

Available at amazon.com, $7.99.

Stanley Will Probably Be Fine

With all of his anxieties, simply registering for San Diego’s big comic book trivia treasure hunt—Trivia Quest—is a big deal for Stanley Fortinbras. But the possibility of winning and scoring VIP tix to Comic Fest drives him to overcome his fears, partner with his new neighbor, Liberty, and act like a superhero in this illustrated epic tale that’s sure to be a great summer read for kids. 

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $11.05.

The Zach & Zoe Mysteries: The Missing Baseball

When 8-year-old Zach’s prized signed baseball goes missing, he and his twin sister swing into sleuthing action. Told against a sporty baseball backdrop this first in a new mystery series for younger readers will keep kids guessing who done it. Read this 2018 release before putting the next two in the series (releasing this summer) on hold.

Ages: 6-9

Available at amazon.com, $3.99.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Mason Buttle has always felt like an outsider. A “big kid,” who struggles with reading, writing and learning disabilities, he struggles to grapple with the death of his best friend and an ongoing investigation in this 2018 release. With the help of a new friend, Calvin Chumsky, Mason begins to find his way again, but when Calvin disappears, all bets are off, and things go wonky (again) for poor Mason. Tweens will find lots to learn about life and themselves on the pages of this book.

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $11.17.

Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons #1

Playful illustrations make this book a winner with readers ages 6-8, but so does the intriguing story of Princess Serena (aka Princess Pulverizer) and her Quest of Kindness. Intent on getting into knight school, Serena’s got to prove her chops to her father, King Alexander, first. So along with knight-to-be Lucas and dragon pal, Dribble, she figures how to be valiant and brave while committing random acts of kindness along the way.

Ages: 6-8

Available at amazon.com, $5.59.

The Boy, the Bird & The Coffin Maker

What starts out as a story about a lonely widower busily making coffins for the departed townspeople of Allora, turns into a beautifully crafted story of friendship and family when a magical bird brings a young boy, Tito, and the coffin maker, Alberto, together. Looking to escape the past, the young boy and the old man forge an unlikely friendship within a magically realized world. Consider this book the training wheels for Gabriel Garcia Marquez books to follow when your reader gets older. Eight to twelve-year-olds will be transported by this recently released debut novel, by Matilda Woods, no matter where they read it this summer.

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, for $14.98.

Lions & Liars

Even if your kid hasn’t read Kate Beasley’s first book, Gertie’s Leap to Greatness, she can check out Beasley’s latest that just dropped this month. Set at a summer camp for troubled boys, Lions and Liars tackles the social stratospheres so recognizable to kids with humor, wit and the honesty that draws readers in. And did we mention the category 5 hurricane? That really puts things into perspective for this group of misfits, looking for a place to fit in.

Ages: 8-12

Available at amazon.com, $13.59.

My Cat Ate My Homework

6th grader Melissa has a dilemma—her walking, talking cat thinks he’s a superstar. And she’s being bullied at school. This fourth-in-a-series book by popular author David Blaze will keep kids laughing as Melissa works through life lessons so many kids can relate to.

Ages: 7-10

Available at amazon.com, $6.99.

Bob

Because aliens in chicken suits are all the rage with kids ages 7-12, this book is sure to be a winner. It all starts when Livy visits her grandmother in Australia and finds Bob patiently waiting for her in the closet. He’s been there for five years, has no memory of his origin, but definitely remembers Livy promised to help him find his way home when she returned. True to her word, Livy and Bob piece together clues in the search to find Bob’s home. Immerse your little reader in Bob and Livy’s adventure when you get the book at

Ages: 7-12

Available at amazon.com, $13.89.

—Allison Sutcliffe

 

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featured photo: Brittany Randolph via Flickr

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